16 June, 2017| By:Kevin Trieu
Beyond the densely populated urban jungle and the crisp, clean streets of suburbia, lies communities oftentimes long forgotten (until a certain presidential candidate started to pay particular attention to them exactly two years ago today). Rural America has often lagged behind the rest of America: in economics, in education, and in health as well, so it is no surprise to know that the struggles of living in these parts of America has led to a disproportionate amount of rural Americans smoking. Nationally, smoking rates are at historic lows, but if we drill down socioeconomic factors, we can find that”rural residents are diagnosed with lung cancer of rates 18 to 20 percent above those of city dwellers.” This is all due to the fact that rural communities have a lack of economic resources and healthcare resources. Tobacco companies know this and have been marketing a lot more to these communities, and less in urban, wealthier communities. It really is a tale of two worlds.
None of this is surprising. I have written many stories about tobacco companies advertising to poorer countries in the face of declining smoking rates in the US. This is the first time I have shown a light on poorer parts of the US and their smoking rates, and this is actually the first article I have seen to talk about it. (link to article will be down below). If we look at the Chinese community in Chinatown, we know that most of the smokers in Chinatown are not Chinese-Americans that have lived here for generations, but are Chinese immigrants who come here from the mainland and bring their addiction with. The more we understand that what you might see, might not be the reality for all Americans and the more articles that shine a light on issues such as this, the more we can help tackle and diminish tobacco use.
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Link to article here.